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Selectmen's Notebook: Town Stuck With Cell Tower, Two More Enlistees Honored

Jun 29, 2015 03:42PM ● By Bill Gilman

Kevin Duggan, who has enlisted in the Navy, and Joshua Cho, who has enlisted in the Army National Guard, were honored last week by the Board of Selectmen.

Town officials and residents are in agreement that the cell tower at the South Fire Station is an eye sore they would like removed as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.
At the June 23 Board of Selectmen meeting, Town Manager Richard Montuori said there was no way the town could rid itself of the tower, which has stood for a decade. Rather, Montuori said, the town is trying to make the best of it, by generating revenue with additional carriers and trying to make the site look a bit more pleasing to the eye.
"I'm not going to sit here and lie and say we'll eliminate the site," said Montuori. "We've looked at (re-locating) and there is just no additional suitable site."
Montonuori said if the tower is taken down, the town would be obligated to build a 100-120 foot tower, somewhere else, at its own expense.
The town's 10-year lease with Sprint, which brings in $32,500 annually, is set to expire July 15. According to Montuori, the plan is to re-issue the Request For Proposals and hopefully sign multiple cell carriers to leasing agreements for use of the tower. He also said there are plans in the works to add tall trees and other landscaping to the site to try and make the view a bit less unpleasant.

Two new enlistees honored by board

The Board of Selectmen, in keeping with recent tradition, honored two young Tewksbury men who have enlisted in the military.
Kevin Duggan has enlisted in the U.S. Navy and Joshua Cho has enlisted in the Army National Guard.
"It takes an affirmative step to take on a responsibility like that," said Todd Johnson, chairman of the Board of Selectmen. "And we would not be able to be here and enjoy the life we have, had someone else not taken that affirmative step."
Duggan and Cho were individually recognized and each was presented with a citation from the board, on behalf of the town.

Tewksbury enters into power aggregation agreement

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a plan for the town to enter into an energy aggregation plan with National Grid.
According to Montuori, the plan would result in lower electric rates for Tewksbury residents. The town, itself, is presently in such an aggregation plan for the municipal buildings with Constellation Energy and has seen significant savings, he said.
According to Mark Cappadona, President of Colonial Power, resident participation is voluntary. However, residents would have to "opt-out" in order to not participate in the plan. He also said residents could leave or re-enter the plan any time they choose.
Cappadona has served as a consultant to the town in the process of crafting the aggregation agreement.
Cappadona said that because electrical rates in the aggregation plan tend increase as winter approaches, some customers in other towns with aggregation plans tend to drop out of the plan for the winter and jump back in in the spring to take best advantage of electrical rates.
Overall, however, he said customers that stay in the plan year-round see a noticeable savings.
"That's really the lynch-pin to this whole thing, that a fully informed resident resident can make an independent choice," said Board Chairman Todd Johnson.
Click here to view full details of the aggregation agreement, which must still be approved by the state.

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